There’s more evidence that President Trump absolutely made the right decision to fire James Comey as his FBI director.
A new report indicates that Comey preemptively decided to exonerate Hillary Clinton, clearing her of all charges related to her email scandal before the FBI had an opportunity to interview her and her top deputies.
Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., say newly released transcripts from a federal watchdog agency indicate that Comey decided to draft a statement exonerating Clinton in May of 2016, before Clinton was interviewed by the FBI.
The transcripts are interviews of two FBI officials, Jim Rybicki, Comey’s former chief of staff, and Trisha Anderson, a principle deputy general counsel, conducted by the Office of Special Counsel.
Grassley and Graham say one of the officials told investigators that Comey decided in early May of 2016 to draft a statement clearing Clinton of criminal charges but also criticizing her handling of classified material on a private email server.
At that point the FBI had yet to interview Clinton as well as several other important witnesses, including Cheryl Mills, a senior aide to Clinton, Bryan Pagliano, a former tech aide to Clinton, and Hannah Richert, a staffer at the Clinton Presidential Center, to name a few.
According to portions of the redacted transcripts made public by Grassley and Graham, the official they believe to be Rybicki acknowledged that in the spring of 2016, investigators had an idea of what the outcome of the investigation was going to be. At that point, the bureau had been looking into Clinton's email server since July of the previous year.
"– but was there – I guess, based on what you’re saying, it sounds like there was an idea of where the outcome of the investigation was going to go?" the OSC investigator asked.
"Sure. There was a – right, there was – based on –" the FBI official replied — but the reasoning was redacted.
In a letter sent to new FBI Director Christopher Wray, Grassley and Graham are demanding that the FBI turn over all drafts of Comey’s statement closing the Clinton investigation, all related emails, and “any records previously provided to OSC in the course of its investigation.”
"Conclusion first, fact-gathering second — that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” Grassley and Graham state in a letter.
It seems like the fix was in from the beginning for Comey to clear Clinton.
Editor's note: The headline has been edited to better reflect the story of the piece.